Laboratory Rat Experiments Show Consumption of Lake Ontario Salmon Causes Behavioral
By Helen B. Daly
Journal of Great Lakes Research, Volume 19, Issue 4, 1993, Pages 784-788, ISSN 0380-1330, DOI: 10.1016/S0380-1330(93)71266-6.
As part of the Cause-Effect Linkages II Conference, research was reviewed that showed behavioral changes in laboratory rats fed for 20 days a 30% diet of Lake Ontario salmon. Results from nine behavioral tests indicate that when testing involved a negative experience rather than only a positive experience the experimental group fed Lake Ontario salmon differed from the control groups fed Pacific Ocean salmon or no salmon. Behavioral differences between the two control groups have never been found. Offspring of rats fed the Lake Ontario salmon diet showed similar behavioral changes, even when tested in adulthood and never fed Lake Ontario salmon. These results, using the experimental method, can be viewed as providing the 'missing link' between the results observed in wildlife living in the Great Lakes region and children whose mothers had eaten Lake Michigan fish (see other papers in this journal issue). Since the adult rats fed Lake Ontario salmon and their offspring showed no signs of illness and had equal weight gain when compared with the two control groups, it appears as if changes in behavior may occur at doses lower than those needed to produce physical illness.
Keywords: Behavior; PCBs; toxic chemicals; Lake Ontario salmon